Category Archives: Dream With Dina

CEO & Founder, Dina Kimmel, shares her thoughts, inspirations, and personal stories about the We Rock the Spectrum mission.

We Rock the Spectrum Is Expanding to Australia!

We’re so excited to announce that We Rock the Spectrum is opening in our 5th country… Australia! Let’s get to know Sally Johnson, our new international owner! After Sally and her husband’s son, Digby, was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of two, she dreamed of an inclusive place that she could take him where he could play freely on suitable sensory equipment and where she could meet families on a similar journey. Many years later, she learned that such a place existed – We Rock the Spectrum – but that there were none in Australia. Sally reached out to fellow autism mum and WRTS founder, Dina Kimmel, and the concept for We Rock the Spectrum — Australia was born! With an extensive background in marketing and brand management and deep routes in the Australian autism acceptance community, Sally is hugely passionate about bringing the We Rock concept to Australia. “Within my own community, I see the desire families have to connect with …

We Rock the Spectrum Will Open in Dubai in the Fall of 2017

Los Angeles, CA – June 1st, 2017: We Rock the Spectrum, an international children’s gym franchise, announces its expansion into Dubai and Saudi Arabia. A little less than two and a half years ago, a mother from California decided to franchise her business that was designed to provide an inclusive play area for children of all abilities. When Dina Kimmel’s son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, she personally saw the lack of places available that she could take Gabriel and his neurotypical sister, Sophia. This led her to create a gym that features sensory-safe play equipment and welcomes all kids, no matter their ability. Today, there are more than 69 locations across the world, including the first international location, which opened in Malaysia in December of 2016. “We Rock the Spectrum aims to be a leader in inclusion worldwide. After meeting Dr. Nashila Jaffer, the master franchisee for Dubai and Saudi Arabia, we recognized she shared the same beliefs and knew …

History of Rock Boy

Rock Boy—he’s the mascot of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym who’s come to symbolize fun and full-inclusion to families all over the world. He adorns every We Rock the Spectrum signage from the storefronts to the walls of our gyms. For kids, his bright red t-shirt, welcoming smile, and rockin’ hands means “It’s playtime!” Rock Boy is every child. But the idea for Rock Boy goes back to one child in particular, back when We Rock the Spectrum was just one gym in Southern California that one loving, warrior mother built for her son. The concept of Rock Boy, like much of We Rock the Spectrum, comes from a love of family. Rock Boy is modeled after Gabriel Kimmel, the son of our CEO & Founder Dina Kimmel. He is also the inspiration behind We Rock the Spectrum, which grew from a home gym designed just for him. People often wonder why the name of our gym is “We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym,” with a singular …

Malaysia Grand Opening a Huge Success!

On December 22nd, 2016, We Rock the Spectrum opened its first international location in Ara Damansara, Malaysia. This was the first gym to open outside of the continental United States. CEO and Founder, Dina Kimmel, attended the grand opening with her family. Rahmah Mahmood, Nori Abdullah, and Hana Jamaluddin, the owners of We Rock the Spectrum – Malaysia, were also in attendance along with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin and the Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. We Rock the Spectrum’s journey to Malaysia was filled with countless blessings and meant-to-be moments. Through a series of serendipitous events, We Rock the Spectrum – Ara Damansara took the brand Dina Kimmel built seven years prior — and her mission — global.   It started in the summer of 2015, when Khairy Jamaluddin attended the Special Olympics in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three boys. During their downtime, he was looking for a place to take his children to play nearby. That’s when a simple Google …

We Rock the Spectrum Opens First International Location

When we opened our first location in Tarzana, CA in 2010, we had one mission in mind: to provide a place for children of all abilities to play and grow together. Six years later, our philosophy of full inclusion for all children has grown to more than 60 locations across 18 states. Now, we’re bringing our mission worldwide with our first international location to open at the Evolve Mall in Malaysia! Learn More About Our Expansion    

A Beginner’s Guide to Being an Autism Parent

When your child is diagnosed with autism, you begin to look for ways you can help and try to figure out what you need to do. Since 2013 autism has been classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder and encompasses several different disorders, some of which did not have funding or support prior to this classification. Having a child with autism often leaves you feeling lost and embarrassed, hopelessly trying to figure out what you need to do in order to understand how you and your child are going to live with autism. My Story As you may know, I founded We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym as a place for children with special needs to play with other typically developing children and to have the sensory equipment they need to aid in their development. We Rock is much more to me than a sensory gym. It provides my family with a chance to interact with the world outside of our home. Before I founded We Rock, …

How Children With Autism are Getting the Most Out of Social Skills Classes

So, what is the We Rock Social Skills Program (WRSSP), and better yet, how does it benefit children enrolled in the program? WRSSP is a program designed to offer classes to aid children in gaining the social skills they need to properly function on a daily basis. Whether a child is on the spectrum, has another disability, or is simply introverted, a lack of social skills can result in inappropriate behavior in public settings. This was the case with my son, Gabriel. Although he is a high-functioning child with autism, he often felt awkward and shy around other children. To address this, we developed the WRSSP to offer children the opportunity to take a sensory break from classes to play on the equipment at the gym. By incorporating breaks, it allows children to refocus their minds on the subject matter of the class so that they can benefit from the classes more. This has not only helped Gabriel, but it has also helped many other …

How Siblings of Children with Autism are Affected

How Siblings of Children with Autism are Affected As parents of children with Autism, we understand they require specialized care and attention. Depending upon which part of the spectrum a child falls under, the extent of the support will vary from helping them accomplish daily tasks to needing assisted care on a continual basis. Regardless of the extent of the therapy solutions, parents try anything and everything to give their children the support they need to reach their full potential. But what about the siblings of the children with autism? Just like how parents’ lives change when they discover their child has autism, their other children are also affected, but in a much different way. Siblings have to stand by and watch, feeling helpless as their beloved brother or sister is affected by a disorder they will not fully understand until later in life. This has the potential to cause anxiety and difficulty in expressing emotions, which can lead to the siblings lashing out at …

WRTS Welcomes Their New East Coast Regional Training Center

It has been four years and counting since We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym was founded. As of today, there are twenty four locations worldwide. We also just celebrated our one year anniversary as a worldwide franchise. What does this mean for We Rock? It means we get to serve special needs children and make a real impact in the world of autism. We Rock the Spectrum is a one of a kind kids gym, therefore it allows us to shape the movement towards helping special needs children develop and grow in ways they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Due to the growth, however, we have had to expand our reach in terms of serving our new gym owners. On November 25, 2014, we celebrated the inaugural of our new East Coast Regional Training Center. The East Coast Regional Training Center will allow new gym owners located on the East Coast to be properly trained and have a place to go for resources, advice, and …

Angels from Heaven Brought Down to Earth to Change Our Lives Forever….

This is a photo of our son Gabriel trying to help teach his new friend Destine how to swim. If one was to tell me 2 years ago I would be looking at this photo and reflecting on this precious moment, I would tell them it was a dream. Gabriel was diagnosed with Autism back in 2009 and could not learn how to swim until he was 5 years old. It took him to 5 different instructors before we found the angel that broke through his barriers (Mrs.Daniella Stark). Destine, his new friend, has Autism as well and to witness such love and compassion from my child has me crying as I am writing this to all of you. These moments in life stop me and thank God that I have a child with Autism. What I have learned and continue to learn from our Autism Angels is true love, compassion, devotion, patience, tolerance, and a daily reminder to never underestimate a child.